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SEO, moble and more


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SEO for website content creators is the main theme of this University Marketing Summit session at Iowa State University. A step-by-step SEO workflow is included. SEO is followed by an introduction to mobile marketing site design, including casse studies from University of Evansville, University of Virginia, and St. Mary's University

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SEO, moble and more

  1. 1. SEO, Mobile and more… University Marketing Summit Iowa State University December 16, 2010
  2. 2. Our SEO goal… <ul><li>Do what we can to make it easier for people using search engines to find us… </li></ul><ul><li>No perfect solution to the puzzle </li></ul>
  3. 3. SEO defined… <ul><li>“SEO stands for ‘search engine optimization.’ </li></ul><ul><li>“It is the process of getting traffic from the ‘free,’ ‘organic,’ ‘editorial’ or ‘natural’ listings on search engines. </li></ul>
  4. 4. SEO defined… <ul><li>“Web pages and other content… are shown and ranked based on what the search engine considers most relevant to users. </li></ul><ul><li>“Payment isn’t involved, as it is with paid search ads.” </li></ul>
  5. 5. Google dominates search use… <ul><li>Search engine use, 4 weeks ending 12/04 </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Google……. 70.37% </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Yahoo…….. 15.07% </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Bing……….. 9.94% </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Ask………… 2.54% </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>AOLSearch. 1.44% </li></ul></ul>
  6. 6. SEO… Starting with the basics…
  7. 7. 4 simple steps to success… <ul><li>“Eternal” SEO success points: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Good title tags on your pages </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Good body copy </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Great content </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>No barriers on your website to block the search </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>No broken links </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Links lead to the expected content </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Danny Sullivan, editor, </li></ul></ul></ul></ul>
  8. 8. Write for the person visiting the site, not for search engines… <ul><li>Use keywords that real people use… </li></ul><ul><li>Add content carewords that people want to read </li></ul>
  9. 9. Keywords and Carewords <ul><li>Keywords: bring people to your site </li></ul><ul><li>Carewords: keep people at your site </li></ul><ul><li>Keyword example </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Online MBA degree </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Careword example </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Advance your career </li></ul></ul>
  10. 10. Don’t “stuff” keywords… <ul><li>The page title and description, primary headline, one subhead, twice in the text… </li></ul><ul><li>More and the page won’t seem well written </li></ul>
  11. 11. New pages are good… <ul><ul><li>Search engines visit your site often… </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Give them new page titles to find… </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Blogs work well for this </li></ul></ul>
  12. 12. News entries create new title tags…
  13. 13. Change press release headlines… <ul><li>Print version </li></ul><ul><ul><li>“ Tulsa star: The life and career of a much-loved 1960s singer.” </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Website version… </li></ul><ul><ul><li>&quot;Obituary: Gene Pitney.“ </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Steve Lohr, &quot;This Boring Headline is Written for Google,&quot; The NY Times </li></ul></ul></ul>
  14. 14. F aculty, staff blogs…
  15. 15. Case Study… Penn State World Campus MBA <ul><li>Review of search results </li></ul><ul><li>Anatomy of a high-ranked page </li></ul>
  16. 16. Results for “Online MBA degree”…
  17. 17. First page “online MBA degree” results… <ul><li>Organic Search </li></ul><ul><ul><li>UPhoenix </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Regis University MBA </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Walden University </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Penn State World Campus </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Drexel University </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>UScranton </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Paid Search </li></ul><ul><ul><li>UPhoenix </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Penn State </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Cal State Monterey </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Post University </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Grand Canyon Univ </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Marylhurst Univ </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Norwich University </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Capella University </li></ul></ul>
  18. 18. Results for “Online MBA degree program” <ul><li>Organic Search </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Penn State World </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>UPhoenix </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Regis University </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Drexel University </li></ul></ul>
  19. 19. Yahoo, Bing: Online MBA degree <ul><li>Yahoo Organic </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Penn State World Campus </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Bing Organic </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Penn State World Campus </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Benedictine Univ </li></ul></ul>
  20. 20. An “Online MBA degree”… <ul><li>Title tag </li></ul><ul><ul><li>“ Penn State – Online MBA degree program” </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Page heading </li></ul><ul><ul><li>“ Penn State’s Online MBA” </li></ul></ul><ul><li>First sub-head </li></ul><ul><ul><li>“ The Penn State iMBA” </li></ul></ul><ul><li>First sentence </li></ul><ul><ul><li>“ Penn State’s online MBA degre…” </li></ul></ul>
  21. 21. SEO… Examples from Iowa State…
  22. 22. Keyword combinations… <ul><li>Think “large to small” </li></ul><ul><ul><li>“ Engineering” on home page </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>“ Software Engineering” on program page </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>“ Software Engineering faculty” </li></ul></ul>
  23. 23. Search: Scholarships Iowa State
  24. 24. Search: Freshman Scholarships Iowa State
  25. 25. SEO workflow… <ul><li>Read your page copy first… </li></ul><ul><li>Write down the 2 to 3 key terms used that best reflect the main purpose of the page </li></ul><ul><li>If you have more than 2 to 3 key terms… </li></ul><ul><ul><li>You might need a new web page </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Example: Financial Aid </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Loans… and popular individual loan programs </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Scholarships… freshmen, transfer, graduate </li></ul></ul>
  26. 26. SEO workflow (1)… <ul><li>Write the page title tag… </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Up to 70 characters </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Most popular/important element first </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Example: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>“Estimator for Automatic Freshman Scholarships : Iowa State University Admissions” </li></ul></ul>
  27. 27. SEO workflow (2)… <ul><li>Write the meta description (for people) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Up to 150 characters </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Include the primary keyword(s) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Think: what do you want people searching to first read about you? </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Example: First 75 characters </li></ul><ul><ul><li>“Estimator for Automatic Freshman Scholarships . Required fields denoted by…” </li></ul></ul>
  28. 28. SEO workflow (3)… <ul><li>Include top keyword in the URL… </li></ul><ul><li>Example: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Can we change this… </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li> </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>To this? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li> </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Or to this? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li> scholarship </li></ul></ul></ul>
  29. 29. SEO workflow (4)… <ul><li>Heading tags… first visible words </li></ul><ul><ul><li>One tag in H1 size headings </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>One or two H2 size headings can follow if appropriate </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Example: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Automatic Freshman Scholarships (H1) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Estimate Your Award Now (H2) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Up to $7,000 per year possible (H2) </li></ul></ul>
  30. 30. SEO workflow (5)… <ul><li>Page content </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Use keyword(s) approximately 5x per page </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Use at or near start of first regular sentence </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Use in subheads and/or bullet points, in bold </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Example: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>“Automatic scholarships of up to $7,000 are available to freshmen with strong academic records.” </li></ul></ul>
  31. 31. SEO workflow (6)… internal links <ul><li>Search engines will explore further into your site </li></ul><ul><li>People will follow if interested </li></ul><ul><li>Links should use words that also are key to the pages they lead to. </li></ul>Majors Bullet points w/ links
  32. 32. SEO workflow… (7) & (8) <ul><li>For images on your page… </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Use a keyword in the alt text for the image </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Internal links to your page </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Where possible, create or negotiate 2 to 3 links back to your page from other related pages on the Iowa State website </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>If you have options: pick pages with highest traffic </li></ul></ul>
  33. 33. Easy to scan links…
  34. 34. Try this to help with keywords… <ul><li>Check these results: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Distance Learning </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>5,404 </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Online degrees </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>2,471 </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Online accredited degrees </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>1,404 </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Online college degrees </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>1,097 </li></ul></ul></ul>
  35. 35. Or this one from Google…
  36. 36. Resources for SEO…
  37. 37. Google’s “Starter Guide” PDF
  38. 38. “Beginners Guide”… Online or PDF
  39. 39. Search engine land & Danny Sullivan
  40. 40. SEO an hour a day…
  41. 41. Time for a break…
  42. 42. Exploring the “mobile” world…
  43. 43. Mobile App vs. Mobile Website <ul><li>Mobile App </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Different apps for different devices </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>How will people find your app? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Not easy to update </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Higher performance possible/Easier use </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Mobile Website </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Access from any mobile device </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Can find using “search” </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Easy to update </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Will perform as well as you build it/Not great right now </li></ul></ul>
  44. 44. Mobile browser use is growing… <ul><li>Percent of website visits from mobile… </li></ul><ul><ul><li>January 2010…. 1.60% </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>July 2010…. 2.43% </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>November 2010…. 2.96% </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Percent of website visits from desktop… </li></ul><ul><ul><li>January 2010…. 98.19% </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>July 2010…. 97.33% </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>November 2010…. 96.79% </li></ul></ul>
  45. 45. Apple & Android both growing… <ul><li>Percent of website visits from iOS… </li></ul><ul><ul><li>January 2010…. 0.59% </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>July 2010…. 1.06% </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>November 2010… 1.36% </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Percent of website visits from Android </li></ul><ul><ul><li>January 2010… 0.06% </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>July 2010…. 0.18% </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>November 2010…. 0.31% </li></ul></ul>
  46. 46. Key design points for mobile…
  47. 47. Start at a “mobile friendly” page… <ul><li>Question: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>“How are you detecting a mobile device and directing the user to a mobile version?” </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Right answer to start mobile friendly: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>“You will need to put a re-direction script in the head of your home page. This script will identify if the browser is coming from a mobile device.” </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Steve LaBadie, East Stroudsburg University </li></ul></ul></ul>
  48. 48. Simple, immediate impact…
  49. 49. The not-so-nice alternative… the iPhone “we can do it” trap
  50. 50. Making things easy in mobile… <ul><li>“ As you go to site XYZ it will automatically create a single-column, mobile-friendly view that has navigation scaled to produce videos or slideshows so users won’t have to pinch or scan or scroll or download an app for everything.” </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Robert Z. Samuels, director of mobile product development, New York Times </li></ul></ul>
  51. 51. The NY Times on mobile…
  52. 52. Long links = easier navigation… <ul><li>3 to 5 word links are easier to touch </li></ul><ul><li>Avoid one word links </li></ul><ul><ul><li>And especially a series of single word links placed one after another </li></ul></ul>
  53. 53. Case Study… UVA Alumni Relations <ul><li>Find your class </li></ul><ul><li>Read the class notes </li></ul><ul><li>Send your new information </li></ul>
  54. 54. UVA magazine: easy to read mobile like the NY Times
  55. 55. Following the class notes link… easy to scroll to your class
  56. 56. Sending a class note… ready for smart phone usability
  57. 57. Easy to type on a touch screen…
  58. 58. Case Study: University of Evansville Academics <ul><li>Academics on the home page </li></ul><ul><li>Scan the alpha list </li></ul><ul><li>Find your major </li></ul><ul><li>Connect with faculty </li></ul>
  59. 59. The home page… “Areas of Study”
  60. 60. Easy to scroll alpha list…
  61. 61. No finger flicks to read “History”…
  62. 62. Get to know the History faculty…
  63. 63. Case Study… St. Mary’s University Recruitment Texting <ul><li>Permission to text </li></ul><ul><li>High value participants </li></ul><ul><li>Text language </li></ul>
  64. 64. High interest students said “OK”… <ul><li>% of inquiries opting for text updates… </li></ul><ul><ul><li>1,416 of 35,606… 4% </li></ul></ul><ul><li>% of applicants opting for text updates… </li></ul><ul><ul><li>1,140 of 3,720… 42% </li></ul></ul><ul><li>% of deposits opting for text updates… </li></ul><ul><ul><li>269 of 578… 47% </li></ul></ul>
  65. 65. Bob Johnson Consulting, LLC Percent who applied Yield: Inquiry to Applicant Overall inquiries Inquiries who opted-in for text updates
  66. 66. Percent who deposited Overall inquiries Inquiries who opted-in for text updates Yield: Inquiry to Deposit
  67. 67. Post-inquiry contact to increase conversion… <ul><li>Text messaging each month as the recruitment cycle unfolds </li></ul><ul><li>Using “text” writing style </li></ul>
  68. 68. Not yet applied for admission… <ul><li>“ Be early, catch the worm. Submit ur admission application by Jan 15 for priority consideration. Get info at” </li></ul>
  69. 69. Join our online community… <ul><li>“ Cre8 a profile on the St Marys online community at by Feb 1 to be entered to get ur $200 enrollment deposit waived!” </li></ul>
  70. 70. FAFSA priority deadline… <ul><li>“ This is last weekend 2 finish priority FAFSA. Go 2 to submit b4 Mon Feb 15 to make sure we get results in time. StMary code is 003623” </li></ul>
  71. 71. Merit scholarship award… <ul><li>“ Bob, UR hard work has paid off! Congrats on getting a merit scholarship! Learn more about financial aid at” </li></ul>
  72. 72. Register for Orientation… <ul><li>“ Bob, R u ready 4 Orientation? Sign-up is now open. Go to We R lookin 4ward to seeing u on campus!” </li></ul>
  73. 73. Resources for mobile…
  74. 74. Mobile Marketing Association
  75. 75. Mobile Marketer
  76. 76. Thank You Iowa State! Bob Johnson, Ph.D. President Bob Johnson Consulting, LLC 226 Chauncey Court Marshall, MI 49068 248.766.6425 [email_address] Customer Carewords Research for Online Marketing Success: